From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 105, Number 7 - February 14, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

District decides on K-5

by Jennie Oemig

After holding a public input meeting last Thursday and discussing its options in a separate administrative session on Friday, Sublette County School District (SCSD) #1 announced at Tuesday’s regular Board of Trustees meeting that it will be moving forward with plans to construct a new K-5 elementary school.

“All of the cards were put on the table,” Superintendent Doris Woodbury said of Friday’s meeting, which was also attended by four representatives from the School Facilities Commission (SFC). “There was a lot of contention. It was tough.”

Once the administrative staff and members of the Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee divided up into groups and started voicing their opinions, Woodbury said the consensus was unanimous.

“All three groups came up with the same solution that building a K-5 elementary school … probably off this campus, would be the best decision.”

While he admitted that up until Friday he was still in favor of going the high school route, board member Chris Sullivan said the elementary school was the better option. “It fell within the funding model,” he said. “It just started to make sense.”

Though the main focus of Thursday’s meeting was to gather information on what the community members wanted in a new facility, Woodbury said not a lot of new ideas were generated, which was likely because only a handful of people not directly associated with the school district turned out.

The weather, as well as the public meeting regarding the Pinedale Anticline Revised Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, were both blamed as likely causes for the lack of community involvement.

While Steve Crane and Brent Tippets of Valentiner, Crane, Brunjes, Onyon Architecture were on hand to facilitate the public meeting, members of the SFC were noticeably absent.

“The SFC was planning on being here, three of its members, but their pilot refused to fly,” Woodbury said last Thursday. “They sent their apologies for not making it tonight.”

And without those officials present, the public and the board were hesitant to make any decisions about a new facility.

“We can sit here and say we want to do this, we want to do that and that’s all fine and dandy, but I really wish the School Facilities Commission could be here,” Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee member Ken Konicek said, aware that the SFC has final say over which direction the district takes. With a new SFC director in Ken Daraie, Woodbury assured the audience that the district would likely have a better chance of getting what they want in a facility.

“We will have a lot more flexibility than with the former director,” she said.

But without guidance from the SFC on Thursday, the decision was left to the administration to determine the following day.

“The SFC was excited about the opportunity,” Woodbury said, adding that the district has already received the commission’s preliminary approval to build the new facility and remodel, reconfigure and rework the existin buildings as a 6-12 campus. “They’re willing to work with a phased remodel.”

What that phased remodel might consist of is still vague as the district proceeds with the first steps in planning.

“It could be remodel,” Vice Chair Ward Wise said. “Or it could be tear down and rebuild.” And while some parents were tentative about having an elementary school off campus, Dari Quirk said she was on board with the district’s decision.

“I think it sounds like a really creative solution,” she said. “ … I think it sounds like an exciting direction.”

In other SCSD #1 news:

• The board voted unanimously to extend the contract of Superintendent Doris Woodbury through June 30, 2010.

• The board approved contracts for the 2008-09 academic year for the following administrators: Business and Finance Director Vern McAdams, Special Services Director Brad Martin, high school principal Richard Kennedy, middle school principal Kevan Kennington, elementary school principal Greg Legerski and high school assistant principal and activities director Jeff Makelky.

• The addition of college prep algebra course to the revised high school math offerings was approved by the board. Halftime math teacher Annette Davis’ position was increased to 5/8.

• Okland Construction Change Order #22 for the Pinedale Aquatic Center was approved by the board. The order, which includes the changing of door hardware between the locker rooms and the pools, as well as a structure to support the scoreboard in the competition pool area, will increase the guaranteed maximum price by $19,302. The next regular meeting of the SCSD #1 Board of Trustees will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 13 in the boardroom of the administration building.

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